With today’s look at 2013 National Champion Jonathan Page’s (ENGVT) mystery carbon cyclocross bike, we continue our effort to bring you the winning cross bikes from the 2013 Cyclocross National Championships, with a few interesting 2012 bikes thrown into the mix. Stay tuned as we have a bunch more to come. Page’s unbranded mystery carbon ride is an interesting contrast to Elite Women’s winner Katie Compton’s aluminum Trek, as we explain below.
This year, with his win at the 2013 Cyclocross National Championships, Jonathan Page continued his impressive streak of podium finishes every time he’s entered the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships since 2001. That’s 11 straight years (he skipped the 2010 National Championships), and all but 2001’s race saw him in medal-winning positions, with four wins, two silvers, four silvers, and one fourth place. Wrap your head around that.
Remarkably, his lowest place racing in Elites was sixth place in 2000, just off the podium after a year off from the sport that left him missing the 1999 championship race in San Francisco. Little known is Page’s 1998 Nationals result, when as a U23 racer, not unlike Zach McDonald’s ride to silver this year, Page finished an impressive third in the Elite race. This was one day after rolling a tubular on the last lap of the U23 race in his attempt to win the U23 title for the third-straight year (Tim Johnson would win that year). Page also owns a junior title from 1994. Page’s consistency and success is unmatched among this generation of Elite American male cyclocross racers, and something that many new fans may not realize about this Belgium-based American racer who we only see racing in the States a few times a year.
This year, Page entered the National Championships still looking for a long-term sponsor, but with the support of long-time backers Planet Bike and Jerry Chabot (in the form of ENGVT) for his January 2013 racing. After his win, Cyclocross Magazine snapped some photos of his winning brand-less bike, but in the middle of doing so, Page’s handlers politely requested we stop as he didn’t want a lot of attention on his freshly stickered-over bike. We respectfully stopped, but thought readers would be especially interested in the build and component choices of the four-time National Champion.
First, briefly about the mystery bike: A close inspection confirms it’s Page’s own signature model, the Norcross SL from his previous sponsor, Blue Competition Cycles. The company was recently sold to a private equity firm, and did not continue Page’s sponsorship (nor his signature on the SL model). The chainstay of his winning bike still shows the SL labeling and Page’s own signature, but the Blue branding was covered up with checkered tape. The frame features Aerus carbon high modulus tubing and features a relatively Euro-high bottom bracket with a 6cm drop, with a BB30 bottom bracket shell. An Aerus carbon cyclocross fork with 1-1/2″ to 1-1/8″ tapered carbon steerer and carbon dropouts is held in place with an FSA Orbit C-40 CX headset. It’s the same frame that Page has race on before — see our gallery below for a few photos of his 2012 bike.
Of more interest to readers may be Page’s component choices, which may surprise some in that there is a notable lack of exotic components or materials — no prototypes or boutique items found on Page’s bike, and besides the Dura-Ace components and wheels, his choices are middle-of-the-line options. Contrast that with Katie Compton’s winning aluminum Trek from the 2013 Cyclocross National Championships that featured several prototype components and the very latest top-shelf products.
Although Page has been searching for a title sponsor this season, he is sponsored by Shimano, and thus nearly every component comes from the Japanese component company, starting with the mechanical Shimano 7900 series Dura-Ace 10-speed STI shifters, rear derailleur and front derailleur, a change from his Di2 componentry he rode in 2012. The crankset remains the same as his 2012 bike, a 7900-series standard road (130mm BCD) Dura-Ace crankset with a rare 46t Dura-Ace outer ring to match the 7900 spider, and a generic 39t inner ring.
Page continues to rely on Shimano SPD pedals as he has for his entire career, and told Cyclocross Magazine, “I’ve always used SPDs because I can trust them.” He picks the very affordable M540 pedals, often found for not much more than $50 in stores. “They’re reliable and they can take all the mud, rocks, dirt, sand, ice and snow that I find in ’cross,” said Page about his pedal choice.
The M540 pedals have less surface contact with the cycling shoe than the current M980 XTR and M780 XT models, which means less problems in mud without shoe sole modifications (See our in-depth review of the Shimano XTR M980 SPD pedal in Issue 17 in which we reveal common misconceptions about the pedal’s mud performance). While many cyclocross racers prefer the older M970 XTR and M770 XT pedals, because they’re discontinued and becoming hard to find, Page sticks with the still-available M540 that shares a similar body to the M970 and M770 models. Perhaps the more affordable model helped keep his cleats from icing over, as Justin Lindine (See Lindine recall his cleat issues in our video interview here) and Ryan Trebon experienced, effectively ending their chance at the podium.
Besides the pedals, crankset and frameset, nearly everything else was different on his 2013 bike as compared to his 2012 machine, and the changes were to remarkably pedestrian components, shunning carbon fiber except in the wheels. Shimano replaced ENVE in supplying Page with his PRO branded cockpit, but unlike Shimano-sponsored Niels Albert and Sven Nys who opt for the carbon Vibe bits (see our profile of Albert’s Colnago Cross Prestige and Nys’ Colnago Cross Prestige cyclocross bikes), Page relied on the aluminum PRO Vibe 7s 7000-series aluminum handlebar (7050) and seatpost (7075) components, choices several notches down from the more spend-y and lighter carbon options. For his stem, Page opted for the PRO PLT aluminum stem. Gone is Page’s Fizik Gobi from last year, and in its place is a Page perched upon a PRO Condor saddle with titanium rails. No carbon rails for Page.
In 2012, Page only brought three bikes but only one set of wheels to contest the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships. He brought an ENVE Composites tubular set with FMB Super Mud tubulars, but relied on Bob Downs’ personal supply of 25mm ENVE carbon tubular wheels to outfit his other bikes (see a photo of his 2012 bike below). This year, he raced Shimano’s 1339g Dura-Ace C35 carbon tubular wheels, dressed with Limus Team Edition 33mm tubular tires from his tire sponsor, Challenge. The pale sidewall of the tires reveals his winning tires were the new cotton casing Team Edition Challenge tubular tires that we first saw on Brady Kappius’ Stevens Super Prestige bike in Vegas.
Continuing the Shimano trend was Page’s brake choice of the low-profile alloy Shimano CX70 cyclocross cantilever brakes we reviewed positively in Issue 16. Page continued to use his favorite no-name, cheap grippy handlebar tape from his Belgian mechanic Frankie that we saw on his 2012 machine. In the icy, wet conditions on Sunday at Nationals, that grip may have come in handy.
See the full specs and our abbreviated photo gallery below. View more pro cyclocross bike profiles in our bike profiles section in our Cyclocross Tech section. Want to learn more about Blue or other cyclocross brands? See our Cyclocross Bike Directory.
Jonathan Page’s 2013 National Championship-Winning Cyclocross Bike Specs:
Frame: Stickered-over Blue Norcross SL carbon cyclocross frame with Aerus Composites 30T high-modulus carbon tubing, BB30 bottom bracket shell. Size Medium.
Fork: Aerus Composites C4CX Carbon Cross Fork, 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ tapered steerer, carbon dropouts
Headset: FSA Orbit C40-CX
Handlebars: PRO Vibe 7s, 7050 aluminum
Stem: PRO PLT, 2014 aluminum
Brakes: Shimano CX70 cantilever brakes
Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace C35 35mm carbon tubular wheelset, 1339g
Tires: Challenge Limus 33mm tubular tires, Team Edition, cotton casing
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed STI Levers
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed, 46t Dura-Ace chainring, 39t inner chainring
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 10-speed, 12-27
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 7901 10-speed
Pedals: Shimano M540 SPD pedals
Seatpost: PRO Vibe 7s 7075 aluminum post, 280mm.
Saddle: PRO Condor, titanium rails.